Thirsty for excitement and unhindered debauchery, I took the Bash Parade down to Santa Anita for the vastly underrated KROQ Microbrew Festival, which also included a lively side of horse race gambling.
Ericka, seen above with lovely Lara #2, had never been to the races, an essential experience that had to be uncovered at some point, so I figured early exposure might lead to beneficial consequences.
To continue the yearly tradition of sloshing ourselves senseless at the track, I was blessed to Bash with the original Lara, one of my all-time favorite partners-in-crime, a trusted confidant in all my affairs.
Two Lara’s in the same place bewilders even the best.
I tried to convince Lance to go, but he firmly stated that he’s “not into the 909 crowd.” Ludacris knows that 909 is Berdu and Rancho Cucamonga, plus Riverside falls into that category as well. Lance is unapologetically localized.
The first race was spectacular, culminating in a victory after choosing the inspiring Catherine’s Hope to show. At 12-1 odds, the payout was $34 and change, enough to cover my beer tasting ticket expenses.
No riders were bucked during the course of the day, so no cheap laughs were had, although those cases are generally not a laughing matter, much like nobody ever talks about how most jockeys are also professional pukers.
They’re so tiny . . . I like how an ambulance trails the horses nearby, ready for action with IVs, stretchers and shotguns on hand.
Luckily Lara brought Vik from the boonies, our last time Bashing being a rather memorable yet fuzzy house party in La Habra. He’s awesome!
I convinced him to throw another quality gathering together soon. Vik’s not just affable, he’s intimidating while cool under the collar, the kind of guy you treasure having as a valorous friend, who’ll always have your back unquestioned.
Raj came around 2ish, making the best of the limited pouring time by pounding beer after beer, diligently fighting his way to the front of long lines by dangling extra beer tickets as a bribe. He got takers.
Wayne Maxwell is a serious track gambler, often known for betting other tracks while remaining in tune with our post times. He came up big on Saturday, walked away with $430 after a long shot came in on the 6th race.
He was stoked. As usual, it’s difficult for me to stray from snapping shots of the odd and peculiar.
Waiting for a Porto-Potty to open up leaves me crucial time to examine and observe various wild species of animals, an engaging hobby for enthusiastic zoological students like myself.
Others were more than happy to sport the kind of wear that favorably attracts women like a high powered magnet.
I went with the Adidas T-Mac jumpsuit, a package that offers farcically reliable comfort. Tommy Vercetti would be proud of my drug dealer wear.
Even though the “world famous” KROQ booth was handing out an inordinate amount of freebies next to the stage, I decided to focus my attention on steadily downing cups of beer. The music was terrible, the demand sporadic.
The lines for beer became out of hand at about 3pm, so my last hurrah consisted of five beers, one of which I had to swill because of carrying difficulties. Suffice to say, the struggle paid off with my blood alcohol climbing to dangerous levels. I'm glad Ericka was able to take care of me, and she had a great time.
The swarm began to get outrageous, the kind of cluster that makes short people nervous and agitated. I don’t usually get stressed when the body count tips toward fire hazard Great White style, but this became pretty bad.
Of all the years in a row I’ve gone, this was easily the most crowded I’d ever seen Beerfest. For some, it became unbearable.
It was Roxie’s 30th birthday as well, which meant I followed up the mindless mayhem at the track with a journey out to Westlake. Raj always says that Westlake is “pretty much NorCal, borderline Canada.”
I’m one of the few that badly judges distances, mostly on purpose, because I despise placing limitations on possible destinations due to mileage. I burn gasoline recklessly, but every penny spent is applauded. Hell, the environment is ruined anyway. F Prius.